Whether tackle or touch, Thanksgiving family football can lead to injuries

(Medical Xpress) -- Whether it’s tackle or touch, the traditional pickup family football game is almost as important as the Thanksgiving dinner itself to many families.

“Getting outside and being active is a great way to burn off extra calories from eating too much pumpkin pie, but it also can lead to injuries,” said Dr. Pietro Tonino, director of Loyola University Health System’s Sports Medicine Program.

Although there is nothing like a little family competition, Tonino says it’s best to leave the heavy hitting to the professionals.

“Be sure to warm up those muscles before hitting the football field and take it easy. Remember, this isn’t the Super Bowl."

Soft-tissue injuries are some of the most common. Tonino shares symptoms to look out for and how to treat minor injuries that can happen on the family backyard field:

Sprain

Our joints are supported by ligaments. These bands of connective tissue connect one bone to another. A sprain happens when a ligament has been stretched or torn. Your ankles, knees and wrists are the most vulnerable to sprains.

Most sprains heal using the RICE method: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the sprain needs additional medical attention, contact your doctor.

Contusions

A contusion is a bruise caused by a blow to a muscle, tendon or ligament, which occurs when blood pools around an injury.

Contusions also can be treated with the RICE method. If symptoms persist, contact your doctor to prevent permanent damage to the soft tissues.

Stress Fractures

When a bone is stressed by overuse, tiny breaks in the bone can occur. Symptoms include pain and swelling in the region of the fracture. The bones of the lower leg and foot are prone to stress fractures.

If you believe you have a stress fracture, contact your doctor. These injures are treated by rest, activity modification, cast immobilization and, rarely, surgery.

“The most important thing to remember to avoid injury this is make sure you take off those muddy shoes before entering the house. There is no coming back from a mom-is-so-mad-her-house-is-muddy ,” Tonino said jokingly.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chronic ankle pain may be more than just a sprain

May 01, 2009

Ankle sprains are a common injury after a fall, sudden twist or blow to the ankle joint. Approximately 40 percent of those who suffer an ankle sprain will experience chronic ankle pain, even after being treated ...

Smart materials that get bone to heal

Nov 04, 2011

Bone tissue is very good at self-healing, but in many situations the natural healing process is not sufficient. In a dissertation at Uppsala University, Sonya Piskounova shows how functional materials that ...

Recommended for you

Researchers review help for navigating 'Dr Google'

1 minute ago

With the onset of the digital age more and more people are turning to 'Dr Google' for health and medical information, however local researchers are worried about a lack of resources for helping consumers ...

Japan women world's longest-lived as male lifespan tops 80

11 minutes ago

Japanese men's life expectancy rose above 80 for the first time in 2013, but was still several years below that of their female counterparts, whose lifespan was the world's longest, figures released Thursday showed.

Baby bonus blues ahead for mothers

21 minutes ago

Young mothers who are not in the paid workforce or are marginally employed will be significantly disadvantaged by the removal of the Baby Bonus.

Women in military less likely to drink than civilian women

46 minutes ago

While it is known that members of the U.S. military overall are more likely to use alcohol, a new study finds that female enlistees and female veterans are actually less likely to drink than their civilian counterparts. This ...

User comments